Babachir Lawal released after 48 hours
Former secretary to the government of the federation, Babachir Lawal, has been released on bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Channels Television, quoting a source reports that the former SGF was released on Friday, January 26 after spending about 48 hours in the custody of the anti-graft agency in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Meanwhile, the EFCC argued that there was no connection between the detention of former Babachir Lawal, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement.
Acting Spokesman of the commission, Samin Amaddin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday, January 26, that both incidents were coincidental, and contrary to insinuation in some quarters.
Lawal was detained by the commission on Wednesday, barely 24 hours after Obasanjo issued a statement accusing the present administration of shielding its corrupt allies.
The timing of the EFCC’s action on the former SGF sparked speculation by some Nigerians that the government was either trying to divert attention from Obasanjo’s statement or appease the former leader.
But Amaddin dismissed the suggestion, saying Lawal was invited by the commission long before the former president issued his statement.
“When we are doing investigation, we don’t have a fixed time. Those speculating should have realised that several contractors are involved in this matter, and they were all invited, even banks.
“We have been working on this case since May 2017, so it is not a thing that just cropped up.
“We are neither a political party nor politicians. We don’t have any relationship with what they are talking about. We are just doing our work.
“If the detention coincides with the latter, that is a different thing. Why are those talking not linking other people we have been inviting with Obasanjo’s letter?’’
President Muhammadu Buhari had sacked Lawal on Oct. 30, 2017 following his indictment by a presidential panel that probed misuse of funds meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East.
The former SGF was accused of using his company Rholavision Engineering Ltd to corner a N200 million contract for the clearing of evasive plant species in Yobe.